19 members of Sydney University Boat Club have been selected to represent Australia. The Australian teams were announced after the finish of the National Selection Regatta held at Penrith between 13 and 22 April.
The senior team, which will race at two European World Cups and the World Championships in Munich, contains several SUBC athletes.
Matt Ryan has again been selected as part of the men?s eight which finished fourth at last years World Championships in Eton. Joining him once again in this crew will be Jeremy Stevenson, the WA oarsman who joined SUBC early this year. The eight will be coxed by Marty Rabjohns for a second year in a row. Rabjohns, who took up a scholarship coaching position at the AIS, will be an enormous asset in Australia?s campaign to win a gold medal in rowing?s premier event.
Francis Hegerty will be part of the all New South Wales coxless four that will be aiming to put an end to the winning streak of their Great British rivals. The charismatic Fergus Pragnell has showed enormous progress over the 2006/7 season. Pragnell, an Under 23 gold and silver medallist, will now represent Australia in the senior ranks as part of the coxed pair.
Stevenson, Ryan, Rabjohns, Hegerty and Pragnell will all continue to train out of the AIS under coaches Brian Richardson and Andrew Randell.
Stroke of last year?s men?s quad, Dan Noonan, has regained selection into the Australian men?s sculling squad. He will relocate to Tasmania and is likely to row the scull at the World Championships. Noonan will be coached by the passionate Rhett Ayliffe, a former SUBC coach.
Last year?s female World Champion, Brooke Pratley, will not be defending her title. With partner Liz Kell unable to compete this season due to injury, Pratley has moved to the women?s quad scull. The boat looks promising to improve on its silver medal last year, and will be coached by Adrian David in South Australia.
Bronwen Watson has also gained another Australian cap after a successful comeback. The female lightweight rower showed her determination and skill during the seat racing trials. Along with fellow NSW rower Miranda Bennett, Watson will be part of the lightweight quad.
Throughout 2006/7 the SUBC Under 23 rowers showed vast potential under the guidance of coaches Philip Bourguignon, David Rodger, Alan Bennett and Mark Prater.
Terrence Alfred, Richard Allsop, Edward Boyce, Andrew Conolly, Mitch Estens, and James Goswell all from SUBC will form the nucleus of the Under 23 men?s eight. Coxing the boat will be infamous Toby Lister whose skill, dedication and patience have finally been rewarded. Phil Bourguignon, who has a wealth of international experience and has trained several gold medal-winning crews, has been named coach of the U23 eight.
Renee Kirby and Charlotte Walters, gold medal winners in the women?s four at last years Under 23 World Championships in Belgium, have regained their Australian caps. Kirby and Walters showed their diversity over the season by switching between sweeping and sculling. They will be part of the women?s Under 23 quad that will train on the Yarra River in Melbourne under Brenton Terrell.
Finally, Cameron Girdlestone has also been selected to represent Australia. The former stroke of the King?s school eight will move to Huon Rowing Club in Tasmania to train under the legendary John Driessen as part of the men?s U23 lightweight four.
Throughout the 2006/7 season and selection trials there were a number of SUBC athletes who performed exceptionally well, but missed out on Australian caps. Beth Smith, who has coxed in the United States, missed out on the job of coxing the women?s senior eight to rival Lizzie Patrick.
David Neuhaus competed in an incredibly tough filed in the men?s U23 sculling which bordered on senior A standard. Nick Hudson and Ian Allsop faced the most talented and experienced senior A sculling and sweep categories in a number of years.
Will Townsend and Justin Quigley were unlucky to miss out on places in the Under 23 men?s eight. Townsend, a lightweight turned heavyweight, made a brilliant transition during the season, and his performance alongside Quigley during the seat racing was impressive.
Similarly, Ed Alexander, whose erg scores matched those of senior lightweights, was unlucky to not receive an Australian zooty after exceptional performances in the Under 23 lightweight category.
Chole O?Regan and Kate Beasley raced well during the regatta but were victims to the small numbers of girls that would be taken overseas as part of the Under 23 team.
Alex Handley and Jacky Peile experienced a similar situation, as only two lightweight girls were selected for the Under 23 World Championships. Nevertheless, the two rowers showed they have much potential for next season.
Oliver Zuk and Chris Ritchie, were disappointed they were not invited to the final selection regatta for the Australian team despite being the 4th placed lightweight pair at the 2007 Nationals..
Although she decided not to contest an Australian team, Elsa O?Hanlon will be travelling overseas to race at the Henley Royal Regatta. O?Hanlon, who was the winner of the World University Games lightweight single last year, is coached by her father Terry.
For a full list of the Australian teams visit http://www.rowingaustralia.com.au
Our photo shows the SUBC winning NSW Champion Eight of 2007. Six of our athletes from this eight have made selection in the National Senior Team for 2007.